The Covid-19 pandemic has hit Kipkelion very hard – the lockdowns have forced many people into poverty and simple things like buying and selling food in the local village markets have become almost impossible. Schools have been closed for long periods and many students have dropped out of school altogether. The few medical services in the area are struggling to cope.
The pandemic won’t be over in Kipkelion until everyone has been vaccinated. The UK and other governments have promised to send millions of vaccines, but it is going to be a real challenge to get these distributed to all the inhabitants of Kipkelion, many of whom live miles from the nearest clinic. We are working with our partners BCW and the local Ministry of Health to ensure that health assistants in Kipkelion are trained in vaccination, that they have adequate PPE and that they can travel to remote locations to give out the vaccine as soon as supplies arrive.
We are also continuing with our other projects in Kipkelion in a Covid safe manner. Our Community Health project, part funded by the FCDO, is helping develop the basic health infrastructure in the area. A resurgence of FGM has been reported as a result of girls dropping out of school, so we are redoubling our efforts to eradicate that barbaric practice. We are also expanding our menstrual hygiene programme – periods don’t stop for pandemics. And we are continuing to train local people to build and install smokeless stoves, potentially halving fuel bills and lifting many families out of poverty.
We’re able to carry on helping the people of Kipkelion thanks to our partners BCW and their excellent team permanently based in Kipkelion – they do an amazing job!